This object is currently on display in room 206 as part of The Virtue in Vice. There are 19 other images of this object. See our image rights statement.

 

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Object Timeline

-0001

1922

  • Work on this object began.

1932

  • Work on this object ended.

1994

  • We acquired this object.

2014

2017

The Reds versus the Whites Chess Set, 1922–32

This is a Chess set. It was designed by Natalya Yakovlevna Danko and manufactured by Lomonosov Porcelain Factory. It is dated 1922–32 and we acquired it in 1994. Its medium is glazed and molded porcelain. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

This complete chess set, known as The Reds and the Whites (or The Communists and the Capitalists), is one of the early examples of propaganda porcelain produced by the State Porcelain Factory in the years immediately following the 1917 Russian Revolution. The set was designed by one of the greatest modelers at the factory, Natalia Danko, and was introduced soon after the establishment of communism in Russia.
Chess sets like this one were displayed in factory store windows in Moscow and exhibited by the new society regime at international expositions. Among the chessmen making up the Reds are the strapping blacksmith king, the beautiful farm maiden queen, and the harvester pawns. The Whites are shown as a king with frightening death mask, a dissolute queen whose cornucopia overflow with gold coins, and pawns as miserable workers bound in chains.

This object was donated by Charlotte Y. Salisbury and catalogued by Cynthia Trope. It is credited Gift of Charlotte Y. Salisbury in loving memory of her husband, Harrison E. Salisbury.

Our curators have highlighted 19 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

  • 1917-1977 Plate, 1977
  • porcelain, enamel, gilding.
  • The Henry and Ludmilla Shapiro Collection; Partial gift and partial purchase....
  • 1989-41-51
  • Red Army Soldier Vase, 1933
  • porcelain (bisque).
  • The Henry and Ludmilla Shapiro Collection; Partial gift and partial purchase....
  • 1989-41-84

Its dimensions are

H x W x D (a): 10.8 x 3.8 x 3.5 cm (4 1/4 x 1 1/2 x 1 3/8 in.) H x W x D (b): 10 x 4.1 x 3.9 cm (3 15/16 x 1 5/8 x 1 9/16 in.) H x W x D (c): 9.5 x 3.6 x 3.5 cm (3 3/4 x 1 7/16 x 1 3/8 in.) H x W x D (d): 9.6 x 3.7 x 3.5 cm (3 3/4 x 1 7/16 x 1 3/8 in.) H x W x D (e): 7.6 x 3.5 x 2.6 cm (3 in. x 1 3/8 in. x 1 in.) H x W x D (f): 7.7 x 3.4 x 2.4 cm (3 1/16 x 1 5/16 x 15/16 in.) H x W x D (g): 6.6 x 5.2 x 2.7 cm (2 5/8 x 2 1/16 x 1 1/16 in.) H x W x D (h): 6.8 x 5.3 x 2.7 cm (2 11/16 x 2 1/16 x 1 1/16 in.) H x W x D (i): 5.8 x 3.9 x 2.5 cm (2 5/16 in. x 1 9/16 in. x 1 in.) H x W x D (j): 5.9 x 3.9 x 2.6 cm (2 5/16 in. x 1 9/16 in. x 1 in.) H x W x D (k): 6 x 4 x 2.6 cm (2 3/8 in. x 1 9/16 in. x 1 in.) H x W x D (l): 5.9 x 3.9 x 2.5 cm (2 5/16 in. x 1 9/16 in. x 1 in.) H x W x D (m): 6 x 3.9 x 2.5 cm (2 3/8 in. x 1 9/16 in. x 1 in.) H x W x D (n): 5.8 x 3.9 x 2.5 cm (2 5/16 in. x 1 9/16 in. x 1 in.) H x W x D (o): 6 x 4 x 2.6 cm (2 3/8 in. x 1 9/16 in. x 1 in.) H x W x D (p): 5.9 x 3.9 x 2.5 cm (2 5/16 in. x 1 9/16 in. x 1 in.) H x W x D (q): 10.9 x 3.8 x 3.6 cm (4 5/16 x 1 1/2 x 1 7/16 in.) H x W x D (r): 9.7 x 3.8 x 3.6 cm (3 13/16 x 1 1/2 x 1 7/16 in.) H x W x D (s): 9.7 x 3.5 x 3 cm (3 13/16 x 1 3/8 x 1 3/16 in.) H x W x D (t): 9.4 x 3.9 x 3.4 cm (3 11/16 x 1 9/16 x 1 5/16 in.) H x W x D (u): 9.5 x 4 x 3.4 cm (3 3/4 x 1 9/16 x 1 5/16 in.) H x W x D (v): 8.1 x 3.9 x 2.8 cm (3 3/16 x 1 9/16 x 1 1/8 in.) H x W x D (w): 8 x 3.7 x 2.8 cm (3 1/8 x 1 7/16 x 1 1/8 in.) H x W x D (x): 6.2 x 5 x 2.5 cm (2 7/16 in. x 1 15/16 in. x 1 in.) H x W x D (y): 6.2 x 5 x 2.4 cm (2 7/16 x 1 15/16 x 15/16 in.) H x W x D (z): 5.8 x 3.3 x 2.3 cm (2 5/16 x 1 5/16 x 7/8 in.) H x W x D (aa): 5.6 x 3.4 x 2.4 cm (2 3/16 x 1 5/16 x 15/16 in.) H x W x D (bb): 5.5 x 3.3 x 2.4 cm (2 3/16 x 1 5/16 x 15/16 in.) H x W x D (cc): 5.5 x 3.2 x 2.3 cm (2 3/16 x 1 1/4 x 7/8 in.) H x W x D (dd): 5.6 x 3 x 2.4 cm (2 3/16 x 1 3/16 x 15/16 in.) H x W x D (ee): 5.5 x 3.2 x 2.4 cm (2 3/16 x 1 1/4 x 15/16 in.) H x W x D (ff): 5.7 x 3.4 x 2.4 cm (2 1/4 x 1 5/16 x 15/16 in.)

Cite this object as

The Reds versus the Whites Chess Set, 1922–32; Designed by Natalya Yakovlevna Danko (Russian, b. Georgia, 1892–1942); glazed and molded porcelain; H x W x D (a): 10.8 x 3.8 x 3.5 cm (4 1/4 x 1 1/2 x 1 3/8 in.) H x W x D (b): 10 x 4.1 x 3.9 cm (3 15/16 x 1 5/8 x 1 9/16 in.) H x W x D (c): 9.5 x 3.6 x 3.5 cm (3 3/4 x 1 7/16 x 1 3/8 in.) H x W x D (d): 9.6 x 3.7 x 3.5 cm (3 3/4 x 1 7/16 x 1 3/8 in.) H x W x D (e): 7.6 x 3.5 x 2.6 cm (3 in. x 1 3/8 in. x 1 in.) H x W x D (f): 7.7 x 3.4 x 2.4 cm (3 1/16 x 1 5/16 x 15/16 in.) H x W x D (g): 6.6 x 5.2 x 2.7 cm (2 5/8 x 2 1/16 x 1 1/16 in.) H x W x D (h): 6.8 x 5.3 x 2.7 cm (2 11/16 x 2 1/16 x 1 1/16 in.) H x W x D (i): 5.8 x 3.9 x 2.5 cm (2 5/16 in. x 1 9/16 in. x 1 in.) H x W x D (j): 5.9 x 3.9 x 2.6 cm (2 5/16 in. x 1 9/16 in. x 1 in.) H x W x D (k): 6 x 4 x 2.6 cm (2 3/8 in. x 1 9/16 in. x 1 in.) H x W x D (l): 5.9 x 3.9 x 2.5 cm (2 5/16 in. x 1 9/16 in. x 1 in.) H x W x D (m): 6 x 3.9 x 2.5 cm (2 3/8 in. x 1 9/16 in. x 1 in.) H x W x D (n): 5.8 x 3.9 x 2.5 cm (2 5/16 in. x 1 9/16 in. x 1 in.) H x W x D (o): 6 x 4 x 2.6 cm (2 3/8 in. x 1 9/16 in. x 1 in.) H x W x D (p): 5.9 x 3.9 x 2.5 cm (2 5/16 in. x 1 9/16 in. x 1 in.) H x W x D (q): 10.9 x 3.8 x 3.6 cm (4 5/16 x 1 1/2 x 1 7/16 in.) H x W x D (r): 9.7 x 3.8 x 3.6 cm (3 13/16 x 1 1/2 x 1 7/16 in.) H x W x D (s): 9.7 x 3.5 x 3 cm (3 13/16 x 1 3/8 x 1 3/16 in.) H x W x D (t): 9.4 x 3.9 x 3.4 cm (3 11/16 x 1 9/16 x 1 5/16 in.) H x W x D (u): 9.5 x 4 x 3.4 cm (3 3/4 x 1 9/16 x 1 5/16 in.) H x W x D (v): 8.1 x 3.9 x 2.8 cm (3 3/16 x 1 9/16 x 1 1/8 in.) H x W x D (w): 8 x 3.7 x 2.8 cm (3 1/8 x 1 7/16 x 1 1/8 in.) H x W x D (x): 6.2 x 5 x 2.5 cm (2 7/16 in. x 1 15/16 in. x 1 in.) H x W x D (y): 6.2 x 5 x 2.4 cm (2 7/16 x 1 15/16 x 15/16 in.) H x W x D (z): 5.8 x 3.3 x 2.3 cm (2 5/16 x 1 5/16 x 7/8 in.) H x W x D (aa): 5.6 x 3.4 x 2.4 cm (2 3/16 x 1 5/16 x 15/16 in.) H x W x D (bb): 5.5 x 3.3 x 2.4 cm (2 3/16 x 1 5/16 x 15/16 in.) H x W x D (cc): 5.5 x 3.2 x 2.3 cm (2 3/16 x 1 1/4 x 7/8 in.) H x W x D (dd): 5.6 x 3 x 2.4 cm (2 3/16 x 1 3/16 x 15/16 in.) H x W x D (ee): 5.5 x 3.2 x 2.4 cm (2 3/16 x 1 1/4 x 15/16 in.) H x W x D (ff): 5.7 x 3.4 x 2.4 cm (2 1/4 x 1 5/16 x 15/16 in.); Gift of Charlotte Y. Salisbury in loving memory of her husband, Harrison E. Salisbury; 1994-122-5-a/ff

In addition to The Virtue in Vice, this object was previously on display as part of the exhibition Making Design.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18647699/ |title=The Reds versus the Whites Chess Set, 1922–32 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=24 September 2017 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

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